She is 94 years of age, one of the surviving veterans of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) corps, and she is traveling to campus from her home in Faribault, Minn., for activities in conjunction with the UW-Green Bay production of Censored on Final Approach.
Betty Strohfus has gained widespread (if belated) attention for her WWII Era service to the WASP program, a chapter in history not much remembered or celebrated until recent years.
Strohfus will attend special events related to the UW-Green Bay play and take in the next-to-last performance of the show’s run on Friday, March 7. She is expected to take part in a women’s veterans panel at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in the Christie Theatre with veterans from Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A day later, she will visit the EAA Museum in Oshkosh where the collection includes an AT-6 combat trainer of the type she flew as a WASP and taught male fighter pilots to fly before they went overseas.
Plans for her visit developed relatively recently. It is being made possible by the generous donation of private-plane use and pilot time by CAVU Flight Center (Sherwood Williams) of Green Bay — so Strohfus won’t have to travel commercial — and other donors covering hotel accommodations and miscellaneous expenses for her and her son during their stay. UW-Green Bay staff member and private pilot Lidia Nonn used her connections to arrange the trip. We found a nice feature on Strohfus, read more.
‘Censored’ opens Thursday, with special show for vets a day earlier
Censored on Final Approach opens this Thursday (Feb. 27) in the Weidner Center’s Jean Weidner Theatre. A student cast will present the story of an elite group of female World War II fighter pilots who were selected to serve as Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs. The women were not embraced by their male counterparts and therefore struggled for acceptance on a daily basis. Guest directed by Chicago-based Shifra Werch, the show runs Feb. 27-28 and March 1 and 5-8 in the Jean Weidner Theatre at the Weidner Center. More information.
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Dedicated performance for vets — There will be a special, closed performance open to area military veterans at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 26). Interested parties must reserve seats (one per veteran, plus a companion) by contacting the VA Center at 920-435-5650.
Strohfus expected to take part in March 6 panel discussion
We’ve reported here previously on special events planned to coincide with Censored on Final Approach. Two panel discussions for the public — one on female pioneers and the other on female veterans — will be held Tuesday, March 4 and Thursday, March 6, respectively. A Neville Public Museum exhibit and an on-campus WASPs exhibit are planned. It is expected that WWII flier Betty Strohfus will take part in the women’s veterans panel at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in the Christie Theatre with veterans from Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. See more details on the various programs.